The Transfiguration

everything is sacred

Posts Tagged ‘anna

Craft of the Day #2557

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Craft of the Day #2557

Anna is visiting California for another wedding. She’s getting a lot of them these days, it seems, but it does mean I get to see her again, so perhaps I should try and convince more of her high school friends to tie the knot.

Life is busy for everyone, so we had only a few hours free today, like last time.

There is another reason for this visit, though, which made it less bright than we would have liked.

We learned last week that Lauren is in the hospital, recovering from a serious medical condition. No one saw it coming, and she is too young to be so hurt. The doctors are giving her the care she needs and she should be fine, but of course we are all going to worry for her until we know that she’s healthy and happy again.

Today we made a care package to send to her: photos and mementos of the time we all spent in Santa Cruz; tasty goodies; collages made in part from the pieces of our old home. Laurel, who has never even had the chance to meet Lauren, spent the afternoon felting an amazing little unicorn for her, complete with rainbow main and tail. I’ll send out the package soon, and I hope it brings Lauren some cheer while she recovers.


Here, also, is the next yearly video, uploaded at the beginning of my eighth year of this project.

It’s been as distinct a chapter as any so far: the conclusion of App Academy, the beginning of my first full-time job and the start of a new career, moving into a new home with Laurel. I’m in a completely different place in life than I was a year ago, more grounded than I’ve ever been. It’s a good thing, but I feel like I’ve lost contact with a lot of friends in the past year – or at least I spend much less time with many of them than I used to.

Life is too busy and I miss everyone. Last year I think I figured out how to subsist; in this next year I want to connect with people again.

before the mystery ends

Written by Umbrella Man

September 23, 2015 at 1:18 am

Garden of the Day #2393

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Garden of the Day #2393

Pearce and Brittany have been celebrating their fifth anniversary this week, and I am amazed that I have already known them this long. In addition to their celebrations together, they asked the friends who have known them as a couple to come out to the beer garden tonight. Anna was in the area, having recently graduated to a Level 2 Auntie, and was able to come tonight as well; it was an unexpected gift to see her again.

It is late, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the festivities are still going. It’s been a good five years for my friends, and I hope to be able to celebrate with them again in another fifty.

attack the light

Written by Umbrella Man

April 12, 2015 at 12:23 am

Couch of the Day #2297

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Couch of the Day #2297

Anna and Harvey drove all the way across the country for the holidays, from Boston to Antioch, and they’ve arrived here in Berkeley for the night. We went climbing with them almost exactly a year ago, and went again tonight; properly worn out, we followed up with some Zachary’s pizza, just like we did a year ago.

We have a tradition forming.

Harvey and Anna did a bit of winter camping during their journeys, but tonight they’re sleeping on our couches – no need to scrape frost off the sleeping bags in the morning. Anna liked that I was getting another sofa snapshot, just like in the days of Santa Cruz, when we’d all sink into the sofa until late sleepy hours.

It’s nice to see them again. And I say that so often now, but it really makes me so happy when I get to keep up these contacts with friends. I don’t want to let any of them go.

under lock and key

Written by Umbrella Man

January 6, 2015 at 12:38 am

Posted in friends, people

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Stroll of the Day #2023

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Stroll of the Day #2023

Anna came to California this week to prepare for and celebrate her niece’s first birthday – an elaborate affair, I’m told, with more varieties of cupcakes than anyone could dream of tasting in a lifetime. The festivities were last night, so today Anna was free to visit with us, and explore a few of the lovely secrets Brittany knows about.

Across the bay from Marin is the husk of the forever unfinished Lava House. Some wealthy soul commissioned a house with a lava rock motif, and the property is sprawling with pillars and walls of porous black stones. Apparently funds ran dry part of the way through construction, and the remains have been sitting by the shore there for almost forty years. The house is lined with signs declaring PRIVATE PROPERTY, ABSOLUTELY NO TRESPASSING, or VIDEO SURVEILLANCE; several sport illustrations of security cameras. I’d never seen such an angry-looking ruin before – perhaps forty years of curious trespassing teenagers will do that to anyone.

We obeyed the signs, but even from the road the view was lovely. Marin looks like something from a fairy tale, its buildings cascading down the hill to a harbor full of tiny wandering boats. I’d never seen a scene quite like that before, and was a little baffled that it had evaded me all these years, hidden just around the bay.

This photo is on the short walk to a beautiful, massive eucalyptus tree overlooking the bay. A handmade swing hung from one of its heavy branches, and Brittany and Anna took their turns on it while Pearce and I followed a rope into the higher reaches of the tree. The walk there was warm in a way I haven’t felt in months – it’s nice to really feel the sun again.

After some climbing at Bridges and delicious foods, we all parted ways. We’ll see Anna again this summer, and further adventures will follow.

pump it up

Written by Umbrella Man

April 7, 2014 at 1:54 am

Eek of the Day #1933

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Eek of the Day #1933

As promised, Anna and Harvey returned for one more night, and we all took to the plastic cliffs to show them what the climbing is like here. They both did well – Harvey even managed some V2s on his first night, which I didn’t manage until I’d been climbing for a month or so.

In two days Harvey and Anna are flying back to Boston. Inspired by tonight’s visit, they plan to start climbing there; perhaps when we meet again we can find a real mountain.

burn this whole city down

Written by Umbrella Man

January 7, 2014 at 1:16 am

Posted in friends, people

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Swing of the Day #1918

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Swing of the Day #1918

Today felt almost like a patch of summer, warm with freedom to wander, but had the solemn tint of winter’s low light. Anna and her beau Harvey (not pictured, though I hope to correct this soon) came to join us this morning, and we went out in search of food and goodies and a little adventure.

It was a good day, and I love these people very much. Lauren’s gone away, but I’m hoping we’ll all meet again sometime soon.

when you close your earthly story

Written by Umbrella Man

December 23, 2013 at 1:43 am

Pinnacle of the Day #1709

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Pinnacle of the Day #1709

This is what I most wanted from our visit to Santa Cruz, and I didn’t realize it until we were there.

In our last hours together, the five of us drove out to a somewhat far-flung beach to give the sea the attention it deserved. The hills lining our path to the sand formed a glass to hold the waves, and the view for the entire descent felt like a carefully composed painting.

We’ve never much gone to Santa Cruz beaches to swim or bask; the water is frigid and the sun is often hidden by clouds or mist. Instead we’re drawn to the spectacle of it – the soft susurrus of waves washing against the cliffs, the tawny hills patched with a dozen kinds of green, the the gulls and pelicans drifting through grey skies. We climbed this crumbling peak and looked out over the water together, soaking in the faded crystalline blue, and I was terribly happy to be on such a beautiful planet.

Watching these endless waves with my friends makes the moment feel so small, a tiny sliver of infinity, and for the last billion years and for the next billion the ocean will stay the same, an immutable, constant change.

The late hour is eroding my thoughts, but I’m thankful that I was able to see this with everyone today.

birds in the frosty air

Written by Umbrella Man

May 28, 2013 at 3:33 am